With The Grain Prop Bet:
Brandon Belt (+425) – San Francisco Giants – 1B
Brandon Belt has finally shown glimpses of the power that he should have always possessed. On the season, he currently has four home runs and nine RBIs. Tonight, he will face off against Jeremy Hellickson, who is currently allowing 1.2 HR/9, while only striking out 6.3 batters per nine innings. Hellickson is a ground ball pitcher, which doesn’t bode well for home runs, but to start the season, his average pitch velocity is down significantly. This is generally an indicator of an injury or poor mechanics on the mound. Either way, Belt could take advantage. Belt, over the last 15 days, has an average batted ball distance of 231 feet, an average exit velocity of 93 MPH, a fly ball rate of 56%, and a hard hit rate of 46%. He has been rather unlucky at the plate, which is why his batting average is under .250. Fortunately, luck, both favorable and unfavorable kinds, tend to go away eventually. As a bonus, Belt has 0.125 ISO and 0.091 wOBA differentials against right-handed pitching. He is hitting cleanup for a reason.
Against The Grain Prop Bet:
Mike Zunino (+425) – Tampa Bay Rays – C
Mike Zunino has interesting home run potential tonight. What? He does! I know what everyone is thinking. “This guy hits on a couple of home run prop bets, and now he slipped right off the deep end.” Well, it’s been 4 of my last 10, but who’s counting? The person that isn’t counting also said that, on the season, I’m up 7.45 units. Anyway, let me explain why exactly I’m recommending a catcher hitting .140 with zero home runs to start the season before everyone jumps ship. Zunino gets a great matchup against David Hess, who is currently allowing 1.9 HR/9, and the weather will be a non-factor, as the game will be played in a dome. That applies to all Tampa Bay batters, though. Zunino, specifically, has plus ISO and wOBA differentials against right-handed pitching, has an average batted ball distance of 216 feet over the last 15 days, a fly ball rate over that same time period of 61%, and has been getting wildly unlucky at the plate. His hard hit rate is only 34% over the last 15 days, which is slightly concerning, but it only takes one. His average air time on batted balls is almost four-and-a-half seconds. The home run indicators are here, I promise. It may seem like a total shot-in-the-dark, but this is a calculated move.
*MyBookie continually updates available prop bets on their prop builder, so odds should be released closer to the start of the contests. If you do not see Brandon Belt and Mike Zunino available, they will likely become available later in the day, and odds will be updated in the article when that happens.*
Follow Jason Bales (@BalesTJason)